SHOWstudio celebrates the unique creative talent emerging in Russia today with a dynamic film and essay series, launched to time with the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014. All the featured films were produced as part of the British Council's Dressing the Screen initiative, which includes exhibitions, workshops, talks and screenings. The Dressing the Screen was born as a rolling fashion film exhibition, curated by Kathryn Ferguson, which brings together work by some of the world’s most famous and innovative fashion designers and filmmakers from the last 75 years and features over 100 British fashion films. The inaugural exhibition opened in Beijing in 2012 as part of the UK Now Festival in China, and later featured as an official fringe event of Singapore Digital Fashion Week in October 2013. Motivated by its success, the British Council began to run a fashion film workshop programme that see UK fashion filmmakers fly into different locations worldwide to teach fashion film. Events have been run in Bosnia, the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Nigeria and Russia. The workshops are run by Ferguson and guest tutors have included Fred Butler, Carri Munden, Grace Ladoja, Alex Turvey and SHOWstudio's own Marie Schuller.
In December 2014, Schuller, Ferguson, Turvey and Ladoja went to Russia for a week and mentored filmmakers and designers while they produced films.
The British Council's New Russian Fashion in Film is a project that was born out of a this workshop. Eleven fashion designers and eleven filmmakers participated with their film crews and each team created a fashion film over five days. Further three films by emerging designers were later selected for the showcase.
The locations featured in the films offer a number of exciting snapshots of contemporary Moscow. Panika Derevya filmed Intangible on the rooftop at Moscow Film School with views on Artplay creative cluster and a sweeping panorama of snowy Moscow. The second part of Panika’s film was shot at the iconic Central Telegraph building, a 1920s project by Ivan Rerberg. Young designer Vera Iguchi (V—E—R—A) managed to secure a spacious studio at GlavKino, one of the biggest TV studios in Europe, located on the outskirts of Moscow. Filmmaker Gleb Sereda snuck his team into a disused electric factory - all concrete walls, metal beams and dusty floors – that became a dramatic setting for Asiya Bareeva’s film. And probably the most enchanting location of all was picked by the LES’ team: designer Lesia Paramonova and director Sham Il filmed their dreamy fairytale at Moscow Botanical Garden.
The films are on display here, alongside essays by Russian fashion insiders that discuss the brightest new talent emerging from Russia - names mentioned include Central St Martins graduates David Koma and Tigran Avetisyan, London-based Vilshenko, Moscow-based Ulyana Sergeenko, Vika Gazinskaya in Paris and Alexander Terekhov in New York - as well as the steps Russia needs to focus on in order to offer quality fashion education that would meet the demands of the industry in the 21st century.